Five Takeaways: Clippers lose their third straight fall to Celtics
LOS ANGELES — Both Blake Griffin and Lou Williams score over 20 points, but it isn’t enough as the Clippers (23-24) lose to the Celtics (35-14), 113-102.
Here are five quick takeaways from the Clippers loss.
1) Franchise Man —
The moment the referee lifted the ball skywards for the opening tip, DeAndre Jordan tied a milestone held by Randy Smith for 35 years — Clippers’ franchise leader in games played. Tonight was Jordan’s 715th game as an LA Clipper. The 3-time All-NBA center, 2-time All-Defensive team player, and All-Star and Olympian will take over the Clippers’ record next time he takes the floor
After missing the previous five games, Jordan returned to the starting lineup, and put up an impressive double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
2) Wounded Celtics —
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens dropped a surprise in his pregame media availability, saying both Marcus Smart and Al Horford were not available for tonight’s matchup. Horford hit his head in their last game, and Stevens and the Celtics were cautious with their All-Star, saying, “We just want to...make sure he's symptom-free before letting him get back out on the court. And I think that, obviously, having one [concussion] earlier in the year and having one last year, I think it's the right move."
As for Smart, how he got injured is still vague. "He lacerated his hand on glass in the hotel, got stitches. I don't know the full story," Stevens said.
Despite missing two key players, the Celtics overcame. Kyrie Irving bested the Celtics with 20 points and 7 assists. Rookie Jayson Tatum displayed the overall skill set that led to him being drafted third in last year’s NBA Draft, using a mixture of his ball handling, shooting and size to score 18 points. Jaylen Brown totaled 9 points, but brought his best effort on the defensive end.
3) Stil streaking —
In 10 consecutive games off the bench, Lou Williams has scored 20+ points, which is the second longest streak in NBA history since 1983. The streak has not been 10 straight games for Williams, due to a few starts in between.
Tonight, Williams was second on the team with 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting. Williams also dished out 7 assists, a team best. Along with Williams off the bench, Montrezl Harrell had another double digit scoring effort with 10 points.
For the starters, Blake Griffin posted a 23-point, 5-rebound, 3-assist statline. Wesley Johnson continued his hot shooting with 10 points tonight, making it 10 or more points in six of the last seven games for the forward.
4) Rim attack —
With Lou Williams, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin on the team, the Clippers are one of the best in the league at drawing shooting fouls, ranking second in the NBA with an average of over 25 attempts per game, trailing only the Charlotte Hornets. The team’s 39shots from the charity stripe was a season-high. Jordan made a season-high 7 free throws in 13 attempts. Williams went 7-of-9 from the line, and Griffin went 6-of-7.
5) Off the mark early —
On the season, the Clippers shoot above 35-percent from three point range. Tonight, they shot 23-percent. Their 21 attempts on the night was the third lowest volume this season. On the flip side, the Celtics put up 40 three-pointers, connecting on 14.
What’s Next? — The Clippers hit the road and head to Memphis to play the Grizzlies Friday at 5:00 PST.